HMC Architects’ Senior Healthcare Planner Chris Naughton last month presented, “The State of the Arts: How Technology and Art are Transforming Healthcare Environments” at the Healthcare Design Expo and Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Along with Grigio Art Consulting, Naughton discussed the significant research that exists linking the effectiveness of the arts to healing and how technology can create intimate user experiences that allow participants to engage with and enjoy art in the healthcare environment in new ways.

“Augmented reality (AR) is expected to grow and impact healthcare design, says Naughton. With AR, we have the ability to mix reality by integrating or superimposing virtual elements within the user’s view to enhance their interaction with artwork.”

Naughton is working with Grigio Arts to use AR to tell stories about the artwork on the walls of a pediatric corridor. Grigio Arts has developed an app that wirelessly senses the art when a patient or visitor is within viewing distance. The app can embed any digital format, such as video, text, or connections to websites for sharing stories. The technology is also being used as a wayfinding tool to help patients navigate a complex environment or to connect them to hospital-based resources – all at their fingertips.

The Healthcare Design Conference, which is held every year in November in rotating cities around the country, brings together industry architects, engineers and owners from around the world is devoted to how the design of responsibly built environments directly impacts the safety, operation, clinical outcomes, and financial success of healthcare facilities now and into the future. The lineup of activities includes pre- conference workshops providing opportunity for in depth learning and facility tours, and is considered the premier design industry show to attend for healthcare practitioners.